The Q&A Routine
The Question & Answer Routine is probably the biggest perceived difference between the Callan Method and the traditional teaching methods.
What’sthiswhatstis?it’sapen. (10 words)
Isthisapenisthisapen?noitis’ntapenit’sapencil. (18 words)
Isthispencillongisthispencillong?nothispencilisn’tlongit’sshort. (18 words)
One can comfortably say 42 words in 9 seconds at the speed of about 300 words a minute. Some people speak like this in everyday situations. If you visit an auction or listen to the horse racing or football commentary on the radio (I know… very retro), this sort of speaking pace is very common.
a means to a goal
An average newsreader speaks at about 150 to 180 words per minute. In a Callan Method lesson we aim to average at about 200 and never speak faster than 240 wpm.
Appropriate speed is an important element of the Q&A routine but it’s only a means to a goal. Asking each and every question twice and immediately starting the answer for the student is as important… no… I think it’s more important… there… I said it.
Repeating the questions gives the students enough exposure to fully immerse in the new language… focus on collocations… notice contractions and intonation. The immediate prompt helps them think and speak directly in the new language without first translating.
You can achieve this immersive atmosphere at almost any pace, especially when asking the more complex questions:
is a perfect example.
- Use pace to increase or decrease the difficulty level.
- Monitor student’s concentration level and break up the drilling with a reading or dictation.